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Engagement starting on Fort St. John land use planning…

FORT ST. JOHN, BC: Members of the public, communities, governments, industry and stakeholders are invited to provide their input on the process to amend the Fort St. John Land and Resource Management Plan.

As part of its ongoing commitment to reconciliation, the B.C. government is working in collaboration with Blueberry River First Nations and other interested Treaty 8 First Nations to update and amend the plan. Comments on the process and the potential scope and nature of amendments are being accepted until March 6, 2019, at 4 p.m. at: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/fortstjohn-land-resource-management-plan-review

Since the completion of the Fort St. John Land and Resource Management Plan in 1997, northeast B.C. has experienced significant growth. The original plan identifies resource management zones and protected areas on provincial public land, setting out objectives and strategies for how the land and resources are managed.

The first step in updating the plan is to get an idea of what changes may be required based on the changes to northeast B.C. over the past 20 years. To ensure that everyone with interests in land and resource management in the area has an opportunity to provide input into potential plan updates and amendments, consulting firm Urban Systems has been retained to support the Province in gathering community feedback through an online survey, interviews, meetings and open house(s).

Information on public engagement opportunities, including the online survey and how to schedule a one-on-one interview, as well as background information, questions and answers, and general information about the process, can be found on the website noted above.

An open house will also be held in the Pomeroy Hotel in Fort St. John on Feb. 20 from 5-9 p.m. Registration on the website (under “ways to participate”) is requested, but not required, to attend.

The feedback in the scoping process will be reviewed by the B.C. government and Urban Systems and summarized in a “what we heard” report that will be publicly available in spring 2019.

Once the scope of the Fort St. John Land and Resource Management Plan updates and amendments are understood, the technical planning work will begin. Further engagement with First Nations, local governments, industry, stakeholders and the public will also be part of the technical planning. This portion of the land and resource management plan update process is expected to begin in spring 2019.

The Fort St. John Land and Resource Management update and amendment process is anticipated to take up to two years, into spring 2021.

Written and released by BC Government.

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